Former teacher Robert Lominack is headed to a seat on the Richland 1 school board
In Tuesday’s special election, Lominack won 64% of the 8,575 votes cast, while Hamilton Jacobs won 25% and Jim Manning won 7%.
Lominack is a former teacher at Dreher High School. He’s also practiced law and currently runs an education non-profit.
He told The State he became interested in education as an attorney when he worked with inmates on death row and interviewed his clients’ teachers. He “learned about the missed opportunities in my clients’ childhoods.”
He wants to see more social workers and mental health counselors available to work with students, and keep more teachers in the classroom.
“That’s been an issue, and it’s been exacerbated by the pandemic,” Lominack said election night of the need to keep teachers in the classroom. “Nothing matters if you can’t keep teachers.”
Increasing transparency on the school board will also be a focus, Lominack said. “We have to err on the side of transparency, and tell people everything we’re dong and why we’re doing it.”
Voters in Richland 1 voted in the special election to replace former board member Yolanda Anderson, who resigned Aug. 2 because she moved out of the district.
Anderson’s former seat is at-large, meaning voters throughout the district — from north of Columbia to Lower Richland — voted for the new board member. Lominack will hold the seat until the end of next year.
Jacobs is a real estate agent with Keller Williams, an AAU basketball coach and leads a mentorship program for underserved youth.
Manning served for more than 20 years on Richland County Council as a Democrat representing the Northeast region of the county. He told The State he was running as an experienced pair of hands until the next school board election in 2022.
One candidate, professor Leslie Harvel, had previously withdrawn from the race but stayed on the ballot. She ended up winning 3% of the vote, and 10% of ballots cast absentee before Election Day.